Amidst the hype of the NFL playoffs the baseball season looms. With Spring Training only a month and change off, the baseball buzz is slowly returning. For the Colorado Rockies, 2014 will be surrounded in excitement. An offseason full of transactions generates high expectations for Rockies fans. So what can we expect from Colorado in 2014? While it is still too early to tell just what to expect from the 2014 Colorado Rockies, taking a look back at 2013 offers a few keys to success this season.
Health is the best wealth. A consistent, recurring theme of 2013 for the Colorado Rockies dealt with the word injury. The Rockies spent much of their season without their complete roster. Many expectations go out the window when a team is forced to play nearly a full season without their projected starting roster. Whether it was Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, and the list goes on; the Colorado Rockies were forced to replace key players in their lineup more often than not. A serious lack of depth left them unwilling to generate legitimate replacements and it reflected in the box scores again and again.
The Rockies have spent the winter trying to add depth to their roster. They have accomplished that. But even the added depth will not replace the superstars and starters expected to take the field day in and day out in 2014. Should the Colorado Rockies look to work their way up the NL West standings and end their tenure in last place, they’ll need to stay healthy. No one replaces a Carlos Gonzalez or a Troy Tulowitzki. They need their lead horses to not only start the race, but be there to cross the finish line.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. Baseball is a fickle sport. That’s what makes it so beautiful and so easily romanticized. Last year’s World Series Champion, the Boston Red Sox, weren’t even predicted to make the playoffs. Hell, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012 and came out of nowhere themselves. As unpredictable as baseball is, it’s the consistency that gets you into October. The Rox could not put offense on the board consistently last year; but, neither could a lot of teams. The Rox could not string together consistent starts; but, neither could a lot of teams. And the Rox couldn’t close out games consistently; again, neither could a lot of teams. What killed Colorado in 2013 was the combination of all three.
To turn things around this year, Colorado needs to find consistency in at least one of these aspects. That’s what makes their offseason activity so impactful. The addition of Logan Boone and LaTroy Hawkins should sure up the back-end of the bullpen. Bringing in Brett Anderson helps bolster a starting rotation that improved significantly over the course of 2013. These additions could very well be the tools needed to turn the franchise around and get the Rockies back to at the very least competing.
New faces making a difference. Everyone comes into Denver expecting big things from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Last season Michael Cuddyer revitalized his career and will be expected to tap into some of the magic this season. Ultimately the 2014 season for the Colorado Rockies will hinge upon their additions this offseason. They’ll need Drew Stubbs to step up in his new role. They’ll need Justin Morneau to not only sure up first base, but put some umph back into the heart of the Rockies lineup. Lastly, they’ll need Logan Boone and LaTroy Hawkins to shut down games when given the chance. The Rockies reached out and spent a lot this offseason, and they’ll be leaning on their new acquisitions early and often.